I just spent a very enjoyable morning with sound designer Bernard O’Reilly at Videosonics. We booked the final mix (where everything is mixed into a single soundtrack) in on Jan 3rd and 4th, so it’s all guns blazing between now and then to track lay all the sound effects. It’s such a pleasure to work with great craftspeople like Bernard, as they bring so much more than is obvious to the project.
For me, it’s always about supporting and enhancing the narrative. Sure, sound is often music and sound effects that ‘go with’ the drama, but I like to take it to higher levels. For instance, we discussed putting some deep wood groaning sounds on the wide shots where we can see Young Bill is stood on a wooden jetty and being pulled around by the huge killer pike, ‘Goliath’. These groans add two dimensions not present in the image. First, it tells you that Goliath is HUGE, he must be if he could break a sturdy wooden jetty. Second, it adds a subtle level of danger – if the jetty breaks, Young Bill will go into the water with the killer pike! Then he has a real problem! All this equals more tension.
We discussed the fact that ‘Gone Fishing’ is in fact an action movie by stealth. By that I mean, when you look at it, at first it appears to be a gentle tale, but large chunks of it are in fact big old Hollywood style action – and track laying that kind of film is hard work. The sound plays like an acoustic symphony with just as many different distinct instruments as an orchestra.
We also recorded some ‘voice over’ for Goliath himself. What? Fish don’t have voices? You are right, but this is after all a movie. When editing, I noticed I was subconsciously giving Goliath a voice, kind of like what he would sound like if Brian Blessed were playing him. And so we have tried it out, in the studio. For a good hour I howled, groaned and cackled like I imagine Goliath would if he had a voice. I am not sure if this new dimension will work. When we hear it all in place, we might just say… ‘well we tried, but that’s terrible…’ Equally we might say, ‘wow that really kicks!’ I thinks it’s vital to always strive for innovation, and to take risks.
Now, time for my Lemsip as I have a very hoarse voice. This really isn’t a real job is it!
Onward and upward!
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author
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